I can see you are frustrated. Your cute three year old is scared to get in the pool. Maybe (probably) she loves the water most of the time but at the lesson she cries and clings to you. The other three year olds are in the pool, laughing and splashing and putting their heads under the water. They are blowing bubbles and swimming and floating on their backs. And yours just sits there crying. It’s hot and you are trying to get your baby to nap and you just want the three year old to try the swim lesson. And I hear the mix of disappointment and confusion and frustration in your voice as you comment to the teacher, “I don’t know what’s wrong with her.”
I just want to tell you, it will be ok. She will be ok.
I was you once.
When John was three I signed him up for swim lessons at the local rec center. He loved the water. David was about four months old and it was the winter. I thought it would be a great way for us to get out of the house and for John to be active while I could sit by the pool and relax with the baby. It seemed perfect.
John had other plans. The first day? He refused to get in the water. The second day? He looked me in the eye as I put on his swim suit and announced, “I don’t know why you are putting on my bathing suit because I’m NOT going in the water.” The third day? We never went back.
And now? At age 9? He’s the kid over there on the swim team. The one who won’t get out of the water.
I can’t guarantee that your daughter will love to swim. I can’t guarantee that she’ll ever be happy in new situations. I can guarantee that she’ll be ok. I can guarantee that she’ll get there in her own time and her own way. Maybe she’ll be the kid with the folder full of first place ribbons from the swim meet. Maybe she’ll be the kid who runs off to school on the first day without saying good-bye. Maybe she’ll be the kid who watches shyly from the pool while the other kids play Marco Polo. Or maybe she’ll be the leader of the game. Whatever it is, she’ll be herself. There’s nothing wrong with her. She’ll be ok.